SDG Pioneers 2024

Celebrating business leaders who are advancing the Sustainable Development Goals through a principles-based approach

Each year the UN Global Compact celebrates a class of SDG Pioneers — business leaders working at any level in a company — who are using business as a force for good to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through their own company or by mobilising other businesses, they are helping to reach one or more of the SDGs while also contributing to business success. The SDG Pioneers play an important role in advocating for the Global Goals and demonstrating the private sector’s role in advancing them.

The UK-wide search for our next SDG Pioneers has begun!

The UK Network is on the hunt for our next SDG Pioneer. Individuals who apply will be setting ambitious SDG targets, producing change at scale across operations, supply chains, and business functions, and creating impact by using the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact.

This year we will be recognising not one but two SDG Pioneers - one from a large national and multinational company, and one from an SME. The 2023 Global Compact Network UK SDG Pioneers will automatically go through to the global round for the opportunity to be recognised as global SDG Pioneers at the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit in September.

Why apply?

Whether nominating someone in your team or applying yourself, there are multiple benefits to be gained:

  • Receive national and global recognition for your leadership on the SDGs and the work of your business
  • Showcase your company’s talent and celebrate young changemakers
  • Build momentum internally by turbo-charging support for your SDG vision

The UK SDG Pioneer winners will be recognised in June and the Global SDG Pioneers will be announced at the 2024 UN Global Compact Leaders Summit in September.

Who can apply?

Professionals working at any level of a UN Global Compact participating company are eligible to apply or be nominated.

Only applicants from companies who have been participants of the UN Global Compact since 1 October 2023, and will have submitted at least one Communication on Progress (CoP) by 31 July 2024 will be considered.

Selection and Judging Process

A multi-stakeholder SDG Pioneers Selection Group, comprised of representatives from the UN Global Compact Network UK Board, a UN body, the UK Government, academia, and civil society will vote on the candidates.

Each Local Network will recognise two SDG Pioneers who will continue to the global round.

Date Timeline
3 April – 15 May Applications and nominations open
15 May – 7 June Judging process
25 June 2024 UN Global Compact Network UK SDG Pioneers announced
24 September Announcement of the global SDG Pioneers and recognition at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

Apply or nominate someone to become the next SDG Pioneer

Please use the following forms to nominate yourself or someone else:

Are you the next SDG Pioneer?
Nominate yourself

Do you know an SDG Pioneer?
Nominate someone else

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Our Previous Winners

SDG Pioneer Winner 2023 - Solitaire

Representing an SME:
Solitaire Townsend, Co-founder & Chief Solutionist at Futerra

Solitaire is an author, renowned sustainability expert and optimist. As Co-founder & Chief Solutionist at Futerra (edie's 2023 Consultancy of the Year), she advises the world's most influential organisations to activate the Sustainable Development Goals. Solitaire was named a Sustainability Leader of 2023 by Ad Week and Positive News calls her one of the leading voices changing the climate narrative. Her popular TED talk, Forbes column, and most recent book – The Solutionists: How Businesses Can Fix the Future – are available online.

SDG Pioneer Winner - Uzma

Representing a Large Company:
Uzma Hamid-Dizier, Director of Responsible Business and Inclusion at Slaughter and May

Uzma leads on the firm’s Responsible Business Committee and the implementation of the responsible business strategy. She works closely with the senior leadership to integrate responsible business into the firm’s everyday business culture and strategy. Uzma is specialised in the delivery of business transformation and change programmes to create more open, inclusive, and engaged workplaces that positively contribute to the societies in which they operate. She is a globally experienced diversity and inclusion and responsible business professional, with over 20 years of expertise in the corporate sector, previously holding roles at KPMG, HSBC, and the United Nations. Uzma also spearheaded a collaboration with seven other founding firms to launch Legal CORE and co-chairs the leadership-led, cross-firm collective which is aimed at tackling the underrepresentation of ethnic minority groups in the UK legal sector.

2022 SDG Pioneers Winner David Orr

David Orr
UN Global Compact Network UK SDG Pioneer
2022 Global SDG Pioneer for Climate Mitigation
Product Lead – Moata Net Zero
Mott MacDonald

Read about David’s experience as an SDG Pioneer here >>>

2020 UK SDG Pioneer - Fran Baker

Fran Baker
UN Global Compact Network UK SDG Pioneer
Director of Sustainability & Social Impact


Regan Leahy
2019 Global Compact Network UK SDG Pioneer
(then) Hogan Lovells

For further information, please contact Lea Burkart, Governance & SDGs Programme.